Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pic of the Day

Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2 (green dot right of center):
taken from Horse Cove; Gurely, Alabama 
Nikkor 50mm 1.8, 10 seconds @ f1.8, ISO 2500

Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2: taken from Horse Cove; Gurely, Alabama
Nikkon 300mm f2.8; 6 seconds @ f2.8; ISO 5000
     I went out this evening to find Comet Lovejoy.  It is a naked-eye object, but was not very birght.  Once I found it with binoculars it was easy to see without optics.  Comet Lovejoy dosen't have much of a dust tail.  In the bottom photo you can see a spec of the tail (at about 9:00).  With longer exposures the tail is more visible, but the background is much lighter.  According to Sky & Telescope the green glow comes from molecules of diatomic carbon (C2) fluorescing in ultraviolet sunlight.

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